LAD Global, in partnership with the Singapore Training and Development Association, has made my short course on evaluation of training and learning available for free online. I hope people involved in talent development will find this course to be a helpful introduction to measuring the impact of all types of learning interventions, not only formal training.
My emphasis in this course is on using measurement and evaluation for learning. Much of evaluation in organizations today is still focused on formal training programs and limited to Kirkpatrick’s “level one”. In other words, L&D professionals are using “smile sheets” that measure immediate reaction to classroom instruction, collected at the end of training. Of course, we all are curious about what participants think of our programs and us as trainers. Great to know for marketing purposes.
But this information is not particularly helpful to the organization. It doesn’t tell us why the program was the right solution in the first place, what was learned, why that learning is helpful or not helpful to participants and other stakeholders, what happens when participants apply the content in their organizations, what are the intended and unintended consequences, what can be done to ensure that the content is applied in a positive way in the future, what organizational factors beyond the training are affecting impact, and what difference, positive and negative, the training has contributed to achieving organizational goals. This is the kind of information we need if we want to increase the impact of our learning interventions.
Given this purpose, the course covers methods that can be used to measure and evaluate the process of learning in organizations. I summarize three major approaches to evaluation: Kirkpatrick’s four levels; Phillips’ ROI; and Brinkerhoff’s Success Case Method. And then I explain how to select the best method for the situation and how data (quantitative and qualitative) from any of these methods can be used to improve learning across an organization. If you take a look at the course, I welcome your feedback.
For more on this topic, see our new book, Minds at Work: Managing for Success in the Knowledge Economy, published by ATD Press, available now on Amazon.